Almost all EU Member States have now implemented Directive (EU) No. 2019/1937 “on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law” (the “Whistleblower Directive”) and the last deadlines for companies to put whistleblowing processes in place passed at the end of last year.

The Whistleblowing Directive, and the implementing laws at national level, require companies with more than 50 employees to put whistleblowing systems in place that provide for a confidential and secure avenue for reports to be made and require reports to be investigated and followed up within certain time frames.

While the Whistleblower Directive sets out minimum requirements to be met by reporting systems, many Member States have adopted laws that go beyond those minimum requirements. Further, there are aspects that are not prescribed or made clear in the Directive and which have been legislated differently by Member States (e.g., the obligation to follow-up on anonymous reports or the ability to establish a group-wide reporting system). Members of our Corporate Crime & Investigations team from offices across the EU have compiled a publication which provides an overview of the minimum requirements provided in the Whistleblowing Directive, followed by an overview of how the Directive has been implemented across several Member States. The publication maps differences in the implementation of the Directive, which will be of particular interest to multinational companies with presence in several EU countries.

Many of our clients across the EU are already seeing a marked uptick in internal reporting as result of the Whistleblowing Directive. Companies will need to ensure that robust and effective systems are put in place to ensure that reports are triaged and dealt with effectively in accordance with the new legal requirements.

Request a copy of the publication here.